(As some of you know, for a significant Story Number, I sometimes lapse into reality. Here then is Story 2100 to celebrate Story 2100!)
I thought I would tell you about the time I set out to make a fishpond. It was the first time I had downloaded plans for anything from the internet – and in this case it was how to make a fishpond. It was at a boarding high school in Christchurch where I taught and lived as a house master. I asked the principal of the school if I might make a path through the lawn that was next to the Administration Block. He was more than surprised when I turned up with a tractor with a frontend loader!
The plan was to make the work of art over several weekends. I had multitudinous helpers as every boarding student and his dog wanted to help. The first thing was to dig a hole – no deeper than the Christchurch City Council stipulated before it required safety fencing.
The next thing was to gather rocks to create a tumbling waterfall. Then it was a question of installing an underwater pump and hoses with a secret hole drilled through the bricks into the Administration Block to plug the pump into an electric system! After that it was a question of mixing concrete and creating the tumbling waterfall and pond itself.
The final thing was to landscape the piles of dirt and make a higgledy-piggledy path through the area.
Volunteers arrived with shrubs and pond plants from goodness knows where. One parent donated a little garden statue. Another parent arrived with three goldfish even before there was water in the pond! Oh! I forgot to mention that along with the pump I had installed a water fountain and under water and garden lighting, all on an automatic time switch.
When all was done, things were turned on. I have memories of two comments. One from the headmaster who stood looking at it in wonder and said: “I thought you said you were just making a path.” The other comment was from a neighbouring high school. A team had come to play rugby. After the match the visiting team members were standing looking at the pond. One boy said: “Why can’t our school have one of these?”
Tragically, 14 years later the Christchurch earthquake struck killing 185 people. It also unfortunately destroyed the fishpond.